It’s been 12 years since al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists hijacked four airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Centers in New York City, sending another into the Pentagon and bringing another down in a Pennsylvania field.
Almost 3,000 died that day.
More than a decade later, evil still exists and the sacrifices made by law enforcement, servicemen and their families are still taken for granted, said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle Tuesday at a luncheon honoring first responders at Jim Miller Park in Marietta.
“Too often we, even the lieutenant governor, take it for granted,” Cagle said. “We think that we’re always going to be safe and that we’re never going to have the accident, but it’s when that occurs, we see the sacrifices of so many.”
Warren made his first public appearance following the wreck almost a month ago on Interstate 75 that left him hospitalized for a week.
Warren was released Aug. 21 from Grady Memorial Hospital after undergoing surgery for a fractured vertebra suffered in the car wreck. His chief deputy, Milton Beck, was driving an SUV south on I-75 with Warren in the passenger seat when they were struck by a pickup truck hauling a flat-bed trailer, causing the SUV to roll.
Donning a neck brace, Warren introduced Cagle at Wednesday’s event and said he is feeling better.
“I’m so glad that I’m upright, standing and talking,” Warren said. “God is good.”
Warren has said it will be at least another month until he is able to return to work full time.
Other elected officials echoed his statements.
Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee said Cobb makes an effort to fully support law enforcement.
Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin also offered kudos to those in uniform.
“It probably opened our eyes to what every person in this room means to us,” Tumlin said.
Law enforcement from across Cobb, including the cities of Marietta and Acworth, and service members from the Navy and Army National Guard, along with first responders and EMTs were among those who attended the event.
Cagle said he was taking the day to reflect on the past but to also look to the future.
“More importantly, we’re looking forward and saying thank you,” Cagle said.
Servicemen and law enforcement don’t know what they’ll see on the job, but they continue to face that uncertainty.
“It’s that courage. It’s that conviction. It’s that character… Those are the qualities that have made us great and will continue to make us great,” Cagle said.
Few people can’t remember where they were when the news broke of the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, Cagle said.
The unity that followed reminded America how to stand together, he said, and to appreciate the men and women who sacrifice their lives on behalf of their country.
“If we will continue to stand strong together there is nothing that can stop us,” Cagle said.